Welcome to the Great Mysterious
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Welcome to the Great Mysterious

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Megastar of stage, screen, and television, Geneva Jordan now has a command performance in Minnesota, where she agrees to look after her thirteen-year-old nephew, a boy with Down’s syndrome, while his parents take a long-overdue vacation. Though Geneva and her sister, Ann, are as different as night and day (“I being night, of course, dark and dramatic”), Geneva remembers sh...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2000)
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Joanne Goon
Sep 01, 2007 Joanne Goon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adult women.
This is simply a well-written, thought-provoking piece of fiction. What started out as a leisure read for me really turned into an important life lesson. It truly will help all self-absorbed women (and admit it, we all are at times) to see the greater picture. I intend on buying this book for my best friend, and of course, including a box of tissue.
I don’t think you will walk away from this book without learning something about yourself. This was a very thought provoking book and I really appreciated that it pushed me to think about what is and isn’t important to me. Geneva’s honesty helped me to be honest with myself while reading. Rich’s purity and forgiving spirit would inspire anyone to keep trying even when they are way outside of their comfort zone. Conrad offered wisdom and I couldn’t help but laugh at how he presented his words of...more
Marge Prohofsky
I really enjoyed reading this book. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a successful and known broadway star like, Geneveva Jordan (she even has the name of a star!), who has recently broken off a relationship with a fellow actor, at age 48, and is thrust into Deep Lake, a Minneapolis suburb, on a month-long invitation to babysit her nephew with Downs, while her twin sister, Ann and her husband vacation to Italy.
Geneva, the diva, is more than a one-dimensional character, and the flashba...more
This review originally appeared at www.readinasinglesitting.com.

Well, hello there, deja vu. It was only a few weeks ago that I was reviewing Louise Limerick's Lucinda's Whirlwind, a novel about a career-minded aunt called in as a last-minute caretaker after her sister has jet-set off overseas, and here I am reviewing a book that covers some very similar ground. Mysterious how these things work, isn't it?

Disclaimer: protagonist Geneva Jordan and I didn't quite get off on the right foot. Proclaimi...more
Welcome to the Great Mysterious was another novel with interesting characters. At first I wasn't sure that I really liked the protagonist and there were times when I just wanted to smack her upside the head and demand to know just what she was thinking. As a reader, I got to witness her grow as a character and I think she did learn how to make good choices. I totally loved the fact that this novel had two characters with special needs. It also showed that while these individuals may have special...more
One of my all-time favorites reads, which inevitably leads to a lot of crying, thereby increasing sales of Kleenex and I am so surprised I have never written about this book is called “Welcome to The Great Mysterious” by Lorna Landvik. I had never read Ms. Landvik before I picked up this book and I have never read anything since. But, boy! Am I glad that my flatmate picked up this book one summer afternoon three years ago when our community library was selling of some of its older collections du...more
This is a slight book that deliberately tugs on the heart strings- so I did tear up but I hated myself in the morning. I don’t like to feel manipulated, and that is what this book does, it’s also sweet in a kind of cloying way.

Geneva Jordan is a Broadway star, she’s won Tony’s and people applaud when she walks in a room. She’s just been replaced in her current show by a younger star and her recent boyfriend has left her for a younger woman. When her fraternal twin sister Ann calls and begs her...more
This may turn out to be my favourite Lorna Landvik - but I can't decide as I really did enjoy the others I have read. As with the other novels, this can be a touch sweet and smaltzy in parts - but all in all - very hard to put down. The story conerns Geneva - broadway star - and her nephew Rich, Geneva agrees after much badgering to look after Rich for a month while his parents take a well earned holiday away from their adorable son who has special needs. This involves her leaving New York for a...more
Two thirteen year old twin girls, Ann and Geneva, battle boredom one rainy summer week by creating a scrapbook posing the world's biggest questions. They called the book "The Great Mysterious". As adults, the twins were still as different as night and day physically as well as in their personal lives. Geneva succumbs to her sister's pleas to babysit her Down Syndrome nephew so she & her husband could vacation in Italy. Geneva is a Broadway star, quite taken with herself and acts her way into...more
I picked this up, thinking it was a light piece of chick-lit, and really enjoyed it. It was light - but compelling.
What a poignant, original and sweet read this was. From the first few pages, I didn’t suspect to be so charmed and deeply moved further down the line in this story. It’s the presence of the children, Rich and Conrad (Connie) and their friendship that truly did me in. Those kids were well portrayed and really shone from the page.
In a nutshell, this the story of a Broadway star, Geneva Jordan, who, reluctantly at first, goes to babysit her 13-year old nephew, Rich, with Down-syndrome back in Minn...more
I LOVE Lorna Landvik and her style of writing. She really has a way of introducing you to characters and making you fall into their lives so easily. This book was no exception! Welcome to the Great Mysterious made me laugh, made me cry, and all the emotions in between! Geneva goes from being an absolute horror of a Prima Donna to a caring individual who thinks of others and not just herself, and you get to tag along for the remarkable journey!

Now, comparing Welcome to the Great Mysterious to her...more
This is the second book that I have read by this author, and there's something about her writing and topics that make me think of home and growing up when life was simpler. But she also adds in a little of the glamor in life so that we can how the famous people live.

The main character, Geneva Jordan is a Broadway singer in New York. Originally from Minnesota, she flies back to help watch her nephew while her twin sister and husband take a month long trip. You would think the diva sister would no...more
Monica Lee
“Welcome to the Great Mysterious” is the story of Broadway star Geneva Jordan who is called to return to her Minnesota roots for a month to babysit for her 13-year-old nephew, a boy with Down’s syndrome. After much squirming at the uncomfortableness of it all, she succumbs and, as a sweet story goes, she finds love and happiness.

Author Lorna Landvik certainly can turn a phrase. Here’s an example: “All of the male midlife crisis clichés he had started to fondle during our last months together, he...more
Another Landvik novel that blew me away!

From back cover:
"Megastar of stage, screen, and television, Geneva Jordan now has a command performance in Minnesota, where she agrees to look after her thirteen-year-old nephew, a boy with Down's syndrome, while his parents take a long-overdue vacation. Though Geneva and her sister, Ann, are as different as night and day ("I being night, of course, dark and dramatic"), Geneva remembers she had a family before she had a star on her door. But so accustomed...more
Shari Strider
I love Lorna Landvik. When I open one of her books, I know I'm going to feel great after I finish it. This book did not disappoint. Her story plots are a bit outrageous, but that's one of the wonderful things about her story. I plan to return to this book for the questions asked. I need "fell good" books once in a while, and so I turn to a book like this. It is one I would recommend to friends.
Tamara Morton
This was the first of Lorna Landvik's books that I read. I enjoy reading books set in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. I enjoy the way Ms. Landvik draws her stories and characters from the local area and local landmarks.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bought at a used bookstore while on vacation at the beach. Solid beach read. Picked it because I loved Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by the same author. This was not as good as Angry, but enjoyable all the same.
SrBecky Swanson
I started reading this on a trip to Guatemala and couldn't continue. Geneva, the main character is such a self-absorbed and spoiled Broadway actress that I just couldn't stomach her while traveling in a third world country! That's a credit to Landvik's ability to portray characters so vividly in just a few pages.

I picked the book up again just before Christmas and found that Geneva is one of those characters that you watch change and mature through the course of the book. By the end, she hasn't...more
The main character of this book (whose name I am having a hard time remembering at this point) is a famous Broadway actress whose sister begs her to watch her nephew for a month. This nephew, Rich, has Down's Syndrome and the main character wants nothing to do with being responsible for him. But seeing as she just broke up with her leading man costar, she decides to go to the midwest and stay. It is a standard girl finds herself in a laid back setting story, but I thought they treated people wit...more
This was a bbok also by Lorna Landvik, although not quite as good. The plot is predictable and the characters are not as appealling as her other books. It is about Broadway diva Geneva Jrdan. She is the toast of New York and well known in many circles. When she comes home to take care of her twin sister, Ann's, Down Sydrome teenage son, Rich, so that her sister and brother-in-law can take a vacation, she learnes that life in a small town can be as rewarding as life in New York. She meets the ne...more
I usually like Lorna Landvik books, but I just couldn't get into the selfish NY theater star.
I totally loved the feel of for the characters in this book. Geneva was a person who always felt her life was all that mattered, fame, money and the perfect hairdo until she spends time with her nephew who has downs syndrome and learns what life is really about...love, compassion, friends, family and accepting everyone no matter what. I love that she makes this so real as if you were in her shoes. I particularly enjoyed the book the characters wrote called "The Great Mysterious" which evolves in...more
What a surprise treat this was!!
I really enjoyed this story. I struggled to really like the main character for a while but she grew on me as she grew into her unexpected and unwanted role. Like all of Landvik's novels, this one had a lot of beautiful themes and issues, handled with humor and reality. The story was very character-driven and I quite loved almost every character introduced in the book (or disliked them if that's where the author took me LOL). This was a great read. I haven't been let down by a Lorna Landvik novel...more
Very enjoyable. Super fast read.
Jonna Doughty
One of my all-time favorites, I cry each time I read this. When Broadway diva Geneva Jordan takes time out from her busy schedule to spend some time with her teenage nephew, who has Downs Syndrome, she learns how to take care of both of them. It's a coming-of-age story featuring a middle aged woman, who will win your heart, and the teenagers who will break it. As Geneva grows up and falls in love, she learns many things about herself, and her family. It's a wonderful story.
"Welcome to the Great Mysterious" is just a really good, solidly written book with well-developed characters, a non-frustrating romantic subplot, and a tidy ending. Lorna Landvik's writing is smooth and unpretentious, well-timed, and gently provokes an emotional response instead of the usual face-punch-of-sadness so many authors love to employ. I will be rereading this one in the future -- can't wait to read more from her (I also LOVED Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons).
Another sweet, funny, tear-jerker from Landvik. I especially appreciated her careful, respectful portrayal of a boy with Down syndrome and his friend with c.p. Some good disability rights education for readers who might need it, without being pedantic. Landvik always has a light touch when it comes to things like that. Add a great story and some romantic tension, along with plenty of humorous Minnesota cultural moments, and it's a pleasure read from start to finish.
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Lorna Landvik is a mother of two and wife of one. She is the author of eight novels, including the best-selling ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS, PATTY JANE'S HOUSE OF CURL and OH MY STARS. Also an
actor and playwright, Lorna has appeared in many stage productions. She is a new and passionate neophyte to the practice of yoga, which is a fine antidote to her long established practice of lounging.
More about Lorna Landvik...
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Patty Jane's House of Curl Oh My Stars The Tall Pine Polka (Ballantine Reader's Circle) The View from Mount Joy

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